The Grand Cherokee comes in three trim levels, the Laredo, the TSi, and the Limited. Until 1996, when the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer debuted with V8 engines, the Grand Cherokee was the only sport-utility in its class to offer a V8 engine option, a significant piece of marketing one-upmanship in the highly competitive segment of so-called compact SUVs.
While the Jeep still had the most powerful V8 offering last year, a 5.2-liter V8 with 220 horsepower, the game is different this year. Jeep went and one-upped the competition again with this new model, the 5.9 Limited, which uses a 245-hp 5.9-liter engine that develops a whopping 335 foot-pounds of torque.
For 1998, there is a small group of minor improvements to the 7-year-old Grand Cherokee: Wrangler HP tires, driver and passenger air bags, a new ignition key lock and new Dark Saddle and Agate interior colors. Also available for 1998 is the sporty Grand Cherokee TSi package which was introduced at midyear in 1997.